Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder Patients

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is recognized by a constant pattern of glory behavior (which is real or a fantasy). There may be an overwhelming need for admiration, and lack of empathy may be seen in the Narcissistic Personality Disorder sufferers. People suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder often feel that they hold special importance in other’s lives.

Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder Patients

The sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are disdainful, snobbish or have a superiority complex. In simple terms, this may be termed as something where a person is a narcissist or shows narcissism. Both these terms can be used for a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

How To Know If Someone Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

To make a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a person must show five or more of these DSM 5 Criteria Symptoms:

  • Have an extravagant sense of superiority (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, anticipates to be renowned as superior without adequate accomplishments)
  • Is lost in the thought of their own world and dream of power, success, beauty, brilliance and ideal love
  • Believes that they are special and unique will be understood only by people who belong to their status or share the same place in the society.
  • Has a strong sense of being privileged. Unfavorable expectations of special treatment that is compliant with his or her expectations.
  • Needs extensive admiration
  • Is abusive to others and will not be uncertain in taking advantage of others to fulfill their own needs.
  • Lack of empathy and does not identify the needs as well as the feelings of others
  • Struck with envy and is of a belief that people are envious of him or her
  • Showers attitude, arrogance and haughty behavior.

As personality disorders often describe never ending behavioral patterns, they are often diagnosed in later stages. As the children are under development, show changes in personality and maturation; it cannot be diagnosed in children or adolescents. This can only be recognized in kids if the features are seen for a minimum period of one year. Narcissistic personality disorder is seen prominently in men as compared to women. Like most disorders that are associated with personality, even this might decrease with as the person ages.

Coping with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder Patients

Coping with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder Patients is not easy and it is very challenging. Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition associated with mental health where the patient over exaggerates and follows destructive ways to feel important. It is believed that this may be due to parenting styles that are blended with sensitive personality. Talk therapy can be used for combating with this behavior. Narcissistic Personality Disorder can take the form of destructive personality disorder when combined with physical abuse, alcoholism and drug abuse.

There are two mindsets that determine Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Inflated self worth is the first type where the patient sees himself or herself in the positive light of unrealistic world. These people tend to have impractical expectations for relationships and fail to respect others. The second mindset is exactly opposite to the first one. In this, the patient often feels pressurized with a thought to perform better than his or her standards and fear that failure may have its set of consequences. In both the cases, the sufferer finds it extremely difficult to maintain contact with the outside world.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder patients can act arrogant or selfish at times. Some of them also show egocentric behavior which may lead to irrational outbursts. There may be feelings of anger and hopelessness that can occur in the form of small triggers. It is commonly seen in sufferers who exhibit both these mental states where they are filled with immense ego and yet are vulnerable to criticism.

Coping or Living with Narcissistic Personality Disorder patients can be difficult and confusing especially for children as children look upon their elders for stability and rational behavior. As with most social and mental disorders, therapy is proposed for the sufferers and the friends as well as family members must find their own set of plans for tackling the situations. Coping with family or friends who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder is quite difficult as you may have little control over their behavioral changes. Below mentioned are a few things that can be used for preparing your mind while coping with such sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder .

  1. Know About The Condition You Are Dealing With: Know what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is and how it has an impact on self perception. Gaining knowledge on NPD can help you to cope with the patients in a better way. When you have enough knowledge about NPD, you can easily deal with feelings of self loathing, outbursts or any kind of emotional overflow from the patient. Understand that such feelings are irrational at times and you will not be able to explain the right thing to them. Whatever might be your intention or method- the sufferer may at times fail to understand. Learning about the condition may help you in understanding the disorder and you can approach them with a plan or be prepared to handle the worst. Empathetic use of knowledge is the key to handle any situation.
  2. The Rationale Is not Always Rational: It is important to know that Narcissistic Personality Disorder sufferer sees a logical path while reacting with an outburst while an onlooker is completely astounded. It is imperative to understand that a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has sort of twisted view towards the world. Things may make sense to them only when they are in their bubble of fantasies. An onlooker may be inhibited from understanding them with their egocentrism. When you are aware of this feeling, it will be easier for you to handle such situations.
  3. Be Familiarized with the NPD Symptoms: Coping with the person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be challenging and for some it can be hurtful. Sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder can often put them above all and will not step back when it comes to making them feel less. This makes it important for you to understand that coping with such outbursts is important. The most common NPD symptoms are: feeling of self-loathing, inflated ego, and inability to recognize the feeling of others, setting unrealistic goals, manipulative behavior, rage, outbursts, and sense of entitlement or feel privileged.
  4. Consider Treatment, but Expect Resistance: Seeking treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder is impossible and when the treatment is sought, it can become belligerent and defensive as well. The most difficult thing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is to motivate the sufferer to seek treatment.
  5. Understand that the Situation Is Not In your Control: You can never force the sufferer to get therapy or seek help from others or even consider other’s opinions. You will have to understand that the more you empathize; there may be chances that the sufferer may get frustrated. You cannot compel others to think your way and when your loved one does not respond, it is better to give them some space. If your loved one does not seek counseling, it may be wise for you to seek it. Narcissistic Personality Disorder may be tackled with counseling and Cognitive therapy. Remember, it is better to help yourself if you cannot help others.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 15, 2019

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